SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is an essential component originally created by Netscape for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. In this technology advanced world, Cyber security is crucial to keep customer information private and secure. It is like a digital passport that provide authentication to secure sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials.
>See also – Top 10 Cheap SSL Certificate Providers 2019
An SSL Certificate is a secure protocol used by millions of e-Business providers to protect their customers and ensure secure online transactions. A website, online eshop or any website uses SSL Certificate to create an encryption connection between user’s browser and server it means any data transmitted between the web server and the web browser cannot be read without first being decrypted.
SSL Certificates were developed in 1994 but they were not pursued aggressively till 2015 because Internet was not so hazardous back then. With all that has happened in recent past including data breach and identity theft, webmasters are under grave pressure to adopt methods that confiscates any kind of breach.
By encrypting every information that is shared between the visitor and the website, SSL certificate is helping webmasters sleep peacefully at night. While the additional security is luring bloggers and web entrepreneurs towards SSL, improved search engine rankings are just another attribute that makes these secure socket layers so popular.
But how do you find the find the perfect SSL certificate for your site?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, it establishes a secure connection between a visitor and site and helps prevent any kind of hacking or data theft. SSL Certificates are generally computer file or piece of codes implemented on a server. In brief, the specific functions of the file/code can be explained as:
Authentication: SSL Certificates have information regarding a person or the website. When you click on the padlock, the certificate authenticates and verifies the site and allows you to proceed.
Enables Encryption: This is the unique selling proportion of SSL Certificates; they encrypt the data shared between the visitor and site, preventing it from getting intercepted by hackers or unauthorized personnel.
To understand the importance of SSL certificate, it is important to understand how does it works or how does the encryption works?
Step 1: You try to visit a website by typing the URL in your browser
Step 2:The browser requests the website to prove its identity
Step 3: The SSL enabled site sends a copy of its SSL certificate along with its public key.
Step 4: The browser cross checks the SSL Certificate with authorized issuer and checks whether the certificate has expired, been revoked or compromised before letting you access the site. The Step 3 and Step 4 are combinedly known as SSL Handshake.
Step 4: If the browser finds the provided certificate to be valid, it encrypts the symmetric session and send it to the website then the website will decrypt the symmetric session and cater to your needs.
In order to check whether the website you are trying to access has an secure socket layer certificate layer or not do the following:
With the help of this SSL Guide, you will be able to identify, whether a site has a SSL certificate enabled or not and you will also be able to identify, which certificate is the best for your website.
Dependent upon the security needs of a website, there are three types of SSL certificates; all of these types cater to three different types of website needs.
It is obvious that a certificate that is used for securing transactions will be of no use to a website, which is static in nature and requires no input from the visitors.
Domain validated certificate: Ideal for bloggers, small businesses and static websites; a domain validated SSL Certificate is a low assurance certificate. This certificate ensures that the domain is registered, verified and approved by an administration. The owner of the site needs to confirm this verification either by logging into their cPanel or by configuring DNS settings.
Organization validated certificate: Ideal for enterprises and medical institutions. Unlike domain validated certificate, to acquire this certificate one needs to get the identity of the institution/organization/agency verified by sharing important details like location and nature of business.
Extended Validation Certificate:Helping e-commerce and large-scale enterprises claim their loyal audience base by verifying their domain, location and company registration documents. With an extended validation certification, a business can display a green padlock in their URL Bar and enamour online customers.
Well, SSL certificates are available for free on the web but not everything that is free is bound to be good for your business. Let’s look at the varied ways you can get an SSL Certificate:
Free SSL: The free SSL is good if you have a small site with less content and almost no visitors, it is good for reputation but doesn’t cater to needs of a large site or big enterprises. You should get one only if you are boot strapping and have less cash to spare on SSL Certificates.
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Note: The aim of this digital certificate guide is to help you understand the importance of SSL certificates and use them with in correspondence with your needs.
SSL issued by your Domain provider: It is an ideal practice to get an SSL certificate from your domain provider because of the following reasons:
With Internet becoming cheaper and the main mode of doing business, the number of thugs, burglar and poachers have increased by many folds hence it is important to have requisite security deployed to prevent any mishappening that can harm your business.
With SSL Certificates issued from reputed authorities, business can not only boast about a secure environment but also cash upon improved user experience and search engine rankings.
How to know if a website has SSL Certificate?
Check the URL-Remember, an SSL enabled URL always starts with HTTPS not HTTP.
A padlock icon in the URL- You can notice a little padlock on the left or right side of the URL (depending on your browser) if the website uses the SSL Certificate. And you can read more information about the website and company by clicking on that padlock icon.
No security warning – There are some cases when you can see https and padlock but some security warnings like certificate expired or invalid etc.
Green Address Bar – Green address bar indicate that the website has installed the highest level of SSL security as EV SSL Certificate. Here you can see the organization name in the browser along with HTTPS and green address bar.